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Allergies, sneezing, stuffed up, nose, sinus - antihistamines and what to use for allergy relief

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Phil

That's great, CS! Must be such a relief.

 

I haven't tried any of the remedies yet myself, I just use an olbas inhaler which helps a little.

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compsports

That's great, CS! Must be such a relief.

 

I haven't tried any of the remedies yet myself, I just use an olbas inhaler which helps a little.

 

Hi Phil,

 

Unfortunately, the nasal spray hasn't work as well and my sleep hasn't been very good since that night.

 

I am beginning to realize that figuring it out is very complicated. For example, I woke up this morning with nasal congestion in spite of using the spray. However, after not being convinced that eliminating dairy was helping my congestion, I started eating cheese again. Because I realized that was a possible mistake, I am going to stop eating it again and see what happens.

 

It is very frustrating but what can you do?

 

Have you considered a dehumidifier? That was going to be my next possible step.

 

I hope you find something that helps alot.

 

CS

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Phil

Hi CS,

 

Sorry to hear that. Withdrawal seems to present us with endless problems doesn't it?

 

I recall reading somewhere that histamine is involved with blocked nose - might be something worth looking into.

I've not tried a dehumidifier but if things get worse will certainly consider it.

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compsports

Hi CS,

 

Sorry to hear that. Withdrawal seems to present us with endless problems doesn't it?

 

I recall reading somewhere that histamine is involved with blocked nose - might be something worth looking into.

I've not tried a dehumidifier but if things get worse will certainly consider it.

 

Thanks Phil.

 

I have to be honest and say I can't blame the sinus congestion on withdrawal. I have had it long before I ever took a crumb of psych meds.

 

I do blame my messed up sleep clock on withdrawal but I digress.

 

Regarding histamine, I tried taking supplements that supposedly counter it but they didn't work. I might not have given them enough time.

 

CS

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Georgia

Have you tried using a neti-pot, or just sniffing salt water to clear sinuses?

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compsports

Have you tried using a neti-pot, or just sniffing salt water to clear sinuses?

 

Thanks Georgia.

 

The neti-pot doesn't work due to my deviated septum as stuff gets trapped.

 

Sniffing salt water is good idea that I will try.

 

CS

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Georgia

 

Have you tried using a neti-pot, or just sniffing salt water to clear sinuses?

 

Thanks Georgia.

 

The neti-pot doesn't work due to my deviated septum as stuff gets trapped.

 

Sniffing salt water is good idea that I will try.

 

CS

 

I have used this before but I can't remember the recipe. Maybe 1/2 teaspoon non-iodized salt to 1 cup of warm water (or is it 1/2 cup water?). Some people add a tiny pinch of baking soda. I think Dr. Andrew Weil's site might have instructions on the proper proportions of salt to water. There was something reported in the news recently about a very rare infection or parasite you could get from water in the nose, even one case with tap water, so it may be recommended to boil the water first. I'm sure a google search will bring this up if you're concerned. Personally I wouldn't be too concerned since there were only a handful of cases ever reported, and we've all had water up our noses at some point.

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Shanti

Just for the record, I'm waking up with a headache, heavy head, and stuffy nose too. I'm afraid to take anything to clear my head. I have some nasal spray I might go ahead and try. My nervous system is so fragile right now, especially with my recent dosage drop.

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squirrel

I have aquired this problem on a daily basis and it started last summer.

I wake up every morning and my nose feels blocked and my head feels full. This is followed by much sneezins, sniffling and nose blowing.As the day goes on it can go but is replaced with a very dry and itchy feeling in my nose. Anyone know if this is another withdrawl symptom?

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Whatever

I experienced that as a WD symptom and it lasted for about a year. I have read that sinusitis is a common WD symptom with SSRIs. And when I took Tramadol after ankle surgery a few tears ago (I did not know at the time that it was more than a painkiller it is actually as mild SNRI) when I stopped I had sinusitis for a week.

 

You could discuss with your doctor going on a steroid nasal spray such as Fluticasone Propionate (see quote below) to reduce the symptoms. I do not know if steroids pose any problems for people in WD but they work wonders. When I was in WD OTC antihistamines/decongestants did not stop the sinusitis - all they did was worsen my akathesia.

 

On 3/16/2012 at 10:26 AM, Altostrata said:

I use Pataday eyedrops for itchy eyes and fluticasone (Flonase) nasal spray.

 

UPDATE: Since 2012, I've changed to ketotifen eye drops and azelastine nasal spray -- they are non-steroidal. Steroidal drops and sprays can advance cataracts or glaucoma.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
updated info

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Jemima

I have this problem too, and mine is accompanied by tinnitus, which in turn aggravates the early morning irritability that so many people have described as part of their W/D. It's really bad this morning. My left ear is the one most affected and it's ringing like crazy.

 

Usually putting two or three tablespoons of thyme in a small mixing bowl, pouring boiling water over it, and then inhaling the steam helps, but it isn't doing much this morning. Sometimes taking one or two plain antihistamine pills helps, sometimes they just make me feel worse. Decongestants have a stimulant in them and while they clear up the congestion, they make everything else worse, especially the irritability. Foods that are hot, either temperature-wise or via spices, help with the congestion by making my nose run. I've read that dairy foods are mucous-producing so I've cut them out of my diet for the present. I'm planning to see an ENT specialist as soon as I'm able to do so. However, this seems to strike really badly every few days so it's hard to make an appointment and actually keep it. I'm certainly not fit to drive.

 

I'm beginning to think that antidepressants compromise the entire immune system and that's why there are so many really uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. :(

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squirrel

Hi Jemima , I have tinnitus too everyday have had it since i stopped Paroxetine in 2005 . however this nasal problem has only srfaced since last summer. I cannot take decongestants as the make me shake and apparently antihistimenes work very similar to SSri's so no way will I take them either

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Jemima

Hi Jemima , I have tinnitus too everyday have had it since I stopped Paroxetine in 2005. However this nasal problem has only surfaced since last summer. I cannot take decongestants as the make me shake and apparently antihistimenes work very similar to SSri's so no way will I take them either

 

Does anything work for the tinnitus? Mine seems to be worse in the morning and then gradually recedes from late morning on to the point that I can mostly ignore it for the rest of the day. Taking antihistamines is probably not the brightest idea, but the tinnitus just becomes unbearable some days. I only take an antihistamine occasionally and so hope that isn't prolonging my withdrawal. I react to decongestants much the same as you. They work, but seem to exaggerate every WD side effect.

 

I have allergies, particularly hay fever, and I can tell you this warm winter has made it a lot worse. People who don't usually have allergies can react to pollen and molds during times like these. And like I said before, I think the AD's seriously compromise the immune system.

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squirrel

Sorry but I don't know of anything that helps tinnitus, wish I did . I never had it before withdrawl and its been with me constantly.

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Whatever

Tinnitus is usually a sign of an underlying disorder. A hearing specialist is usually the medical specialist to see. I had horrible hearing problems during withdrawal.

 

This is what helped me. You can try OTC earwax remover. Use it over the course of several days. Then get in the habit of using a daily saline ear wash. This can lesson the symptoms.

 

Ironically, the drugs use to reduce the symptoms of tinnittus are tricyclic antidepressants and benzos.

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squirrel

Had my ears checked and they are fine

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Jemima

Tinnitus is usually a sign of an underlying disorder. A hearing specialist is usually the medical specialist to see. I had horrible hearing problems during withdrawal.

 

This is what helped me. You can try OTC earwax remover. Use it over the course of several days. Then get in the habit of using a daily saline ear wash. This can lesson the symptoms.

 

Ironically, the drugs use to reduce the symptoms of tinnittus are tricyclic antidepressants and benzos.

 

Thanks very much for the advice. I'll give it a try. Are you over your hearing problems now?

 

My doctor once remarked, pre-antidepressants, that my left ear was slightly inflamed. (I'm still puzzled as to why she didn't do anything about it.) I've had this problem for a number of years, but withdrawal seems to have made it much worse.

 

The only thing that has helped was getting a lung infection (thanks to Remeron, Pristiq, and a psychiatrist who didn't bother to tell me not to take aspirin with Pristiq) and being prescribed a "Z-Pack", a very strong antibiotic that is taken for five days, with a double dose the first day. That cleared up the tinnitus for about two months.

 

When I do make it to the ENT, I'll be sure to question any prescriptions he might offer!

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Whatever

Yes, cleared up!

 

Good luck with the ENT.

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Dani

Anybody else starting to suffer from allergies? It's getting warm here on the east coast & my body is starting to feel itchy & the nose bleeds are starting.

I want to take Zyrtec because nothing else works. Has anyone had problems with Zyrtec during withdrawal?

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Dani

I posted something about this yesterday but didn't get a response yet. I'm starting to suffer from allergies...badly. I was taking Zyrtec last year before withdrawal. When I read the ingredients, it contains Hydroxyzine which I think is used for anxiety. Ugh. So I'm wondering if anyone has used Zyrtec during withdrawal. If so, were there any problems?

 

If not taking zyrtec, what meds are you using with success.

 

Thanks in advance (achoooo...cough cough lol)

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lundeliz

Hi Dani, I just wanted to say I've tried Zyrtec during withdrawal. It makes me feel like I've been hit by a truck the next morning.

 

I think it always had that effect on me. I now take Allegra every night with no problems.

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Dani

Hi Dani, I just wanted to say I've tried Zyrtec during withdrawal. It makes me feel like I've been hit by a truck the next morning.

 

I think it always had that effect on me. I now take Allegra every night with no problems.

 

 

Thank you for your response. Zyrtec just made me sleepy but withdrawal has made my body out of wack so I am so apprehensive. Ugh spring lol

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Jemima

First of all, you might want to take a look at this post regarding withdrawal symptoms, especially the articles on sleep problems and light sensitivity:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/604-important-topics-about-symptoms-including-sleep-problems/

 

I found that some of my "allergic" problems were actually a reaction to Cortisol levels, including hyperactivity in the mornings and tinnitus. Now that I keep light blocked from my bedroom and get plenty of sleep, those problems are subsiding. Also, some ADs (maybe all) have blocked sinuses as a side effect. I was taking Lexapro and it aggravated just about every medical problem I've ever had, including allergies.

 

As for the OTC drugs, I never could take Zyrtec. I was on the prescription kind for a bit and every morning around 11:00 AM, I'd get too tired to stay standing and zonk out on the couch for a good two hours.

 

Recently, after tapering off of Lexapro (too fast, I might add) I tried OTC Allegra after years of taking the prescription, generic version, and it made me nauseous, dizzy, and tired. It seems all the ADs, benzos, and antipsychotics make us hypersensitive to just about everything.

 

What has helped me the most is sleeping in a darkened room, keeping the nighttime temperature down to 68 degrees, and getting plenty of sleep. I also keep a pair of sunglasses at the ready for entering rooms where I haven't yet gotten room-darkening window covers. Whenever I start to get spacey and try to do too much, covering my eyes and resting them seems to help.

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Dani

My problem is that during the spring, my allergies start. Itchy eyes, congestion, runny nose, scratchy throat, & itching all over my skin...basically seasonal allergies. I am sure it's the high level of pollen in the air. I need to take something because my allergies last until september sometimes. Unfortunately, this will be my first time taking allergy medicine during withdrawal.

 

While doing some research, I read that Claritin is closely related to a tricyclic antidepressant. That frightens me! As far as Zyrtec, I read that it contains hydroxyzine, which is used for anxiety treatment. With Allegra, I read that it doesn't cross the blood brain barrier & into the nervous system, which is good but I am still apprehensive. I'm trying to figure out if anyone has had trouble using any of these three allergy meds during withdrawal. It's cool outside today so I have some relief but it won't stay this cool for long ): I think I will buy Allegra & hope for the best.

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Altostrata

I have springtime allergies, too.

 

I use Pataday eyedrops for itchy eyes and fluticasone (Flonase) nasal spray.

 

UPDATE: Since 2012, I've changed to ketotifen eye drops and azelastine nasal spray -- they are non-steroidal. Steroidal drops and sprays can advance cataracts or glaucoma.

 

I'd avoid taking an antihistamine if you have withdrawal symptoms. They affect the histamine receptors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histamine_receptor , which may be involved in withdrawal syndrome.

 

Saline rinses (use sterilized water!) can reduce nasal symptoms.

Edited by Altostrata
updated

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Dani

I have springtime allergies, too.

 

I use Pataday eyedrops for itchy eyes and fluticasone (Flonase) nasal spray.

 

I'd avoid taking an antihistamine if you have withdrawal symptoms. They affect the histamine receptors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histamine_receptor , which may be involved in withdrawal syndrome.

 

Saline rinses (use sterilized water!) can reduce nasal symptoms.

 

Omg...I have no idea what to do now. My skin feels like I have bugs crawling inside & out. I feel very itchy. If I can't take allergy medicine, it will be a miserable, miserable 6 months. I tried flonase but that stuff trickles down the back of my throat & gives me a sore throat.

 

I have used the saline rinse & it helps the sinus issues but does nothing for the chest congestion & the creepy crawling skin issues. I'm not sure what to do about the itchiness. I mean even my scalp feels itchy. It feels like I want to jump out my skin. I have no idea what I will do.

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Altostrata

If your symptoms are really bad, the benefits of taking an antihistamine may outweigh the risks. You can always stop taking it if you get a bad reaction.

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Dani

Thanks..wish me luck

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Jemima

Omg...I have no idea what to do now. My skin feels like I have bugs crawling inside & out. I feel very itchy. If I can't take allergy medicine, it will be a miserable, miserable 6 months. I tried flonase but that stuff trickles down the back of my throat & gives me a sore throat.

 

I have used the saline rinse & it helps the sinus issues but does nothing for the chest congestion & the creepy crawling skin issues. I'm not sure what to do about the itchiness. I mean even my scalp feels itchy. It feels like I want to jump out my skin. I have no idea what I will do.

 

Showering and washing my hair usually gives me relief from the itching, no matter how short a time it's been since I already did that. I understand how nearly unbearable it can be.

 

Instead of Allegra, you might try a plain old antihistamine. I use Rite Aid's store brand when I get really desperate and it helps with the sinus congestion and tinnitus without seeming to affect me otherwise. (Be sure to get the kind that's an antihistamine only. Even the decongestants that are on the shelf gave me fits of hyperactivity and irritability.) As for chest congestion, plain old original Mucinex works very well without causing drowsiness or stimulation. Mucinex DM is good at night because it has a bit of sleeping medication in it. Forget the kind that you have to get from the pharmacist. It's the stuff that's used for making crystal meth - very stimulating to say the least.

 

I hope this helps.

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Dani

Thank you so much! I'm going to try to get the rite aid brand of antihistamine & the mucinex this week. I was there over the weekend & saw the rite aid brand loratadine which is genetic claritin, so I didn't buy it.

 

It's going to be warm again this week...What happened to the good old fashioned March weather?

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Jemima

Thank you so much! I'm going to try to get the rite aid brand of antihistamine & the mucinex this week. It's going to be warm again this week...What happened to the good old fashioned March weather?

 

Be sure to get the box/bottle that says "Allergy Medication - Antihistamine - Diphenhydramine HCI - 25 mg. The label is hot pink and navy blue and the pills are hot pink and capsule-shaped. The directions say to take one or two pills, so I usually try one and if that's not enough, take another in half an hour. It's the best thing I've found so far, and a heck of a lot cheaper than Allegra.

 

The Mucinex selection is confusing. There are two kinds that come in a blue and white box, the original and an extra-strength. I've stayed with the original because of the hypersensitivity I seem to have to everything.

 

I live near Philadelphia and we didn't have anything that resembled a winter. I really missed it. There's something so cozy and relaxing about being snowed in, and because I retired last September, I really wanted to gloat about not having to commute. Poo. :( Our only blizzard happened on Halloween weekend. How bizarre is that? Today it's supposed to go up to 73. I started putting the garden in two weeks ago which is about two months early. This is NOT helping my allergies.

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Jemima

I have springtime allergies, too.

 

I use Pataday eyedrops for itchy eyes and fluticasone (Flonase) nasal spray.

 

I'd avoid taking an antihistamine if you have withdrawal symptoms. They affect the histamine receptors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histamine_receptor , which may be involved in withdrawal syndrome.

 

Saline rinses (use sterilized water!) can reduce nasal symptoms.

 

How did you come to the conclusion that histamine receptors are involved in withdrawal syndrome? I'm not a scientist, so I'm having trouble getting from the Wikipedia article to there. I'm aware that some ADs, such as Lexapro, cause sinus congestion, and that just being in withdrawal aggravates whatever medical problems a person may have, but that's about all.

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Jemima

Mucinex DM is good at night because it has a bit of sleeping medication in it.

I need to make a correction here. The doctor I saw for my lung infection said something like "Mucinex DM will help you sleep", and I misinterpreted that as meaning it had some sort of sleeping medication in it.

 

However, the Mucinex DM box has no warnings about drowsiness. It merely says that it suppresses nighttime coughing. I think I misunderstood the doctor - he meant that coughing wouldn't keep me awake. Mucinex DM seems to be perfectly okay for daytime use and it suits my purposes better than the plain kind, which is a chest decongestant. I haven't had any bad reactions to it.

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Romido

I am six months out and didn't get even a smidgen of my usual winter cold or flu the past year. I thought I read our immune systems are on hyper alert state when dealing with withdrawal problems, so I wasn't surprised when I didn't get any colds or allergy symptoms for months.

 

In the last few days, I have a terrible sinus pressure from allergies or just maybe it might be a cold, I can actually hear my sinuses draining and filling in my head. It is my allergy sensitivity season so i suspect its mostly allergies. When I bend over, it feels like the right side of my head might explode. I have been too scared to take anything due to my extreme sensitivities, but yesterday I couldn't take it anymore and was hopeful I had come far enough in my withdrawal that I could tolerate Claritin. It did give me some relief of the excruciating headache from the sinus pressure, but messed up my sleep again (I had three or four wake-free nights in the last week).

 

So my question is, does this sort of indicate I am getting further along? Allergies are a sign things are returning to "the old me"? (I am starting to feel it in my mood, with some of the frustration and depression feelings coming back, but I will deal with those without meds.)

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Romido

Whoops, just noticed I put this post in the wrong place! :blink: Sorry!

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Jemima

I don't know the answer to your question, but my doctor warned me away from Claritin. She said that it dries up mucous in such a way as to actually cause sinus blockage. Allegra or a plain antihistamine seem to be the least harmful of the OTC allergy remedies.

 

I have pollen allergies and so far I'm getting along reasonably well with Mucinex DM (a decongestant that doesn't seem to stimulate) and inhaling the steam from boiling water poured over thyme. Afterward, I strain out the thyme leaves and pour the decoction into a mug and add a large spoonful of raw honey. A plain saline nasal spray also seems to help.

 

My next step will be getting some local raw honey which I hope will help to immunize against local pollens. This makes sense in terms of homeopathic medicine, but we shall see how well the theory works.

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